As you can tell, it has been a long time since I've blogged and it feels kind of funny. I almost forgot how this thing works. So hang in there as I get into the groove once again.
So much has happened since I last posted. My husband was "temporarily" laid off from his new job. Praise God, he did start back this week after two years. During this lay off period he had to take a job in Tennessee in order to provide. What a hard time on all of us but with God's help we did survive the long distance thing. Let me tell you, I have so much more compassion for single mothers now.
Even during this hard dark time, God chose to bring us some sunshine. An eight pound bundle of sunshine came into our lives on May 25 by the name of Ethan Blaine. After Matt was laid off we really wrestled with how long the adoption wait was and we knew we wanted to have one more biological child and then there was the fact that I was 40, not a lot of time left, if you know what I mean. We felt we were living in bondage because everything in our lives seemed to be on hold because we didn't want to do anything that would affect the adoption or that would cause us to have to do any more paperwork, which also cost more money. We finally came to the realization that God did not call us to live a life of bondage, but rather an abundant life. We then decided that just as soon as he found a job and the insurance kicked in, we would start trying for another baby. God is so good, let me tell you.
We never really could understand why God opened the door for Matt to find a job in Chattanooga. I mean we needed him here with us. We are family and aren't families supposed to be together? Once again I'm reminded that God is all-knowing and I am not. Five weeks after our baby was born I was hit hard with postpartum depression. I was standing in the middle of Wal-Mart of all places. I called Matt sobbing and told him that he needed to come and get me. I'm sure it was an interesting sight for all the on-lookers at Wal-Mart that day. Anyway, Matt immediately hopped in his car and drove the 5 hours from Chattanooga to get me and take me back to where he was staying with his family. This was probably the darkest point in my life and I can't possibly explain it and one cannot understand it unless you have walk this dark valley yourself. The worst part to me was that I felt like who I was as a person was gone forever and that I had some stranger living in my body. Everyone would tell me to hang in there and that things would get better. I don't know that I believed it because every day I would ask Matt "Am I ever going to get any better?" Well, sure enough after getting the right medication and allowing weeks for it to kick in things did indeed start getting better. It then all became very clear to me why God had opened the door for Matt to be in Chattanooga, we needed to be in Chattanooga at that point in our lives for Matt's mom and sisters to be able to take over the care of our two boys. I couldn't even take care of myself, let alone to take care of the boys. I will always be grateful to Matt's family for loving and caring for my boys when I could not.
In September the boys and I headed back home to start settling into a routine and things have gone great. Now we get to get use to a "new normal" with Daddy being back home, but I don't mind. The boys are excited to have Daddy home too, especially Eli. For two years Eli and I would pray that Daddy would get the call to go back to work and so it was a special time for me to be able to tell Eli that God did hear and answer his prayer. Way cool!
As far as the adoption goes, we were put "on hold" because of the birth of our baby. You can be on hold for no longer than 6 months and come February 6 our time will expire. So, we had to write a letter to the CCAA (Chinese Center of Adoption Affairs) and request to be reinstated. Basically that means that we are still interested and want to proceed with the adoption process. Our home study also expired in December and so we had to go through all the paperwork to get that caught back up. Praise God, we received word today that this past Friday, January 21, our paperwork had been sent to China. We are told that it could take a week to get there and then it will have to be translated, which could take another week. The bad thing is that the Chinese New Year is February 3 and everything shuts down for a couple of weeks. I'm sure we will be affected by this holiday somehow. Now, the CCAA does have the right to say they will not take us off hold in order to continue in the program. However, Bethany, our agency, has said they have never seen that happen. What most likely will happen is that the CCAA will review our paperwork to verify that we still meet their criteria and that we are in good standing with Bethany, then they will place us in the next batch of referrals.
I feel like we are sooo close to getting a referral, closer than we have ever been for sure. I'm actually getting a little excited but yet I find I'm still guarding my heart. I've recently come to understand that I have build up walls around my heart to try and protect myself from all the hurt that this journey brings. Now I'm not talking thin walls made of particle board but thick ones made out of the biggest, heaviest boulders around. However, I do believe there is a big crack in my wall, it's starting to become a little unstable. I find myself dreaming about the first time I lay my eyes on the photo of my precious baby girl, or the first time that she is placed in my arms and when I think about these moments tears start to form in my eyes, another crack. Is it possible that we are indeed this close? That this part of the journey is almost over? I am so tired and weary, please God help me to place one foot in front of the other as we draw closer to Emma. God, bring her home and let the wall come crashing down.
Jacob and Grace- An Update
2 weeks ago